This paper shows the impact of climate change and increased sea temperatures on the intensity of hurricanes. Many different scientists are studying this by reviewing data from past hurricanes and past increases of temperature and their effects. The increase of hurricane intensity will impact the economy of the U.S., government and many other governments. The costliest hurricane, to date, was the cause of about 108 billion dollars in damage (Trenberth, 2007). This issue is not only an issue for us, but will be a large issue for future generations to come.
Hurricanes increase wind speed over warmer waters and decrease wind speeds over colder water. Average speeds of a hurricane are 150 to 200 miles per hour. The speed of a hurricane could increase 20 miles per hour with a one degree increase of the ocean temperature. Global warming is causing the ocean to warm which can also cause hurricanes to be more severe (Peach, 2016). If a hurricane goes over a warmer patch of ocean, it can easily go from a Category 1 Hurricane to a Category 5 Hurricane. A cyclone interacts with the top 100 meters of water, so if a hurricane goes over a deep area of warm water the jump to a Category 5 can occur. The release of greenhouse gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons, carbon dioxide, and water vapor are causing an increase in the SST (sea surface temperature) and this is overall making the sea warmer. The SST is an important part in the formation of hurricanes and it must be at least 79 degrees fahrenheit for formation (Trenberth, 2007). Hurricanes are becoming more destructive because of global warming and the warming of the ocean caused by it (Leavenworth, 2017). The cyclone that cost the U.S. the most money was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The devastation caused by this single hurricane costs over 100 billion dollars in damage (Trenberth, 2007). Hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon are all used for the same meaning, each term is used to show a hurricane in a specific ocean (Trenberth, 2007).
C. Seiler and F.W. Zwiers use with data from 23 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) climate models for the purpose of comparison. The changes in the climate models in the past were caused by aerosols, greenhouse gases, etc. The objective-feature tracking algorithm, TRACK, is used to identify if a cyclone is strong enough to be considered an explosive hurricane. To be considered an explosive cyclone the cyclone must last 2 days or longer, be spread out at least 1,000 km, and have a deepening rate beyond 1 bergeron. To pass beyond 1 bergeron, the pressure has to drop more than 24 millibars in 24 hours.The deepening rate is the local surface pressure tendency which is usually used to analyze extreme hurricanes. The projected changes in cyclone intensity are compared to the changes in the environment that are expected to cause hurricane intensification. The sea surface temperature gradient is found from average monthly sea surface temperatures. C. Seiler and F. W. Zwiers took into account how much the projected changes were related to the changes of the environment (Seiler and Zwiers, 2016).
Dinan constructed a Monte Carlo Model to look at projections of hurricane damage in the U.S. The simulations begin with the four conditions that affect hurricanes and the amount of damage they cause. The four draws are picked randomly and consisted of the frequency of hurricanes in U.S., sea level rise, population, and income. The simulation first shows the amount of damage from climate change and then the simulation’s factors are adjusted to show how much damage each state will receive from the effects of developments of businesses and houses in coastal areas (Dinan, 2017).
Grinsted et al. reviewed records of cyclone surges in the last 90 years in order to understand how cyclone surges can relate to patterns of warming in the earth. To best predict cyclone surges in the future, a model of past cyclone surges was created by Ginsted et al. To assist in the making of the models, six tide gauges were stationed in in the southeast of the U.S. were used to provide information about sea level in the last 90 years in the Atlantic Ocean. The highest surge ever recorded is Hurricane Katrina; any events that surpass Katrina are labeled as “extreme” (Grinsted et al., 2013).
Seiler and Zwiers discovered through their experiments that the amount of explosive cyclones is not expected to increase dramatically. However, there is a 17% increase expected in the amount of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. Tropical amplification, the tropospheric temperature is higher than the sea surface temperature because tropical temperature being in the troposphere, causes a one degree increase in SST to equal more than a 1 degree increase in the troposphere. This will give hurricanes an increased upper level support. ? of the models predicted that the wind speed of cyclones will increase. More events involving cyclones are expected to occur north of 46 degrees N latitude. Hurricanes’ vorticity (spinning action) is predicted to an increase by .6 10 ^-5 s^-1 (Seiler and Zwiers, 2016).
Dinan discovered that the damage caused by hurricanes in 2015 is 39 billion dollars and the predicted damage for 2075 is 151 billion dollars. Climate change alone is expected to increase hurricane damage by 35 billion dollars between now and 2075. The expected outcome may differ depending on the growth of the population and economy. A large increase in population will lead to larger damage. In 2075, 2.1%, about 10 million people, of the U.S.’s population will experience damage past 5%. An increase of 5% is considered a substantial amount. An increase in frequency of hurricanes was predicted, but the amount of increase is uncertain. (Dinan, 2017).
The surges in weather are influenced by the warming of the ocean and earth. Cyclones favor temperatures alike those in deserts. The sea level can be expected to increase by at most 50% and at least a decrease of 10%A slight increase as little as 4 degrees could be a catalyst to cause previously lower categorized hurricanes to become a higher category. This was shown during Hurricane Katrina when the hurricane passed over an area with a deeper amount of warm water and the hurricane increased from a Category 1 to a Category 5. The model created using MDR was less sensitive to warming.The distribution of the storm surge is not expected to change (Grinsted et al., 2013).
Figure 1 The graph shows the rise of the sea-surface temperature from 1945 to now. This increase is expected to continue on and the hurricanes will become more severe as the line moves upward (Trenberth, 2007).
Seiler and Zwiers conclude that the purpose of their research was to discover how much climate change will impact hurricanes. The east coast of the U.S. will experience a slight increase in the intensity of hurricanes, including the vorticity. The scientists conclude that the factors that make up the Eady growth rate have not been explored in enough detail. C Seiler and Zwiers believe that controlled experiments could result in the different processes that were mentioned in the study. Seiler and Zwier mention that they did not take a further look into the changes in the amount of rain, snow, and sleet that could be caused by hurricanes which may have an effect on their research. A decrease in the sea surface temperature is most likely going to also cause a decrease in explosive cyclones. There is a strong positive correlation between the amount of heat released by the ocean and cyclone intensity (Seiler and Zwiers, 2016).
The damage caused by a hurricane is expected to see a large increase. Climate change is not the only cause of hurricane intensification. Sea level rise is also playing a large part of it. As the water is warmed, it expands. This causes the sea levels to change. Dinan thinks that one of the biggest issues is that businesses and homeowners think they have no reason to not build on coasts (Dinan, 2017).
Figure 2 The line on the bottom graph shows the amount of extreme surges that have happened and that are expected to happen from now to 2050 (Grinsted et al., 2013).
The surge caused by warming turned out to be greater than previously expected. The Atlantic hurricane surge would see an increase if put into a warmer environment. At this point, events at the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina are more likely caused by global warming than any other action (Grinsted et al., 2013).
Conclusion and Implications
The damage that hurricanes are predicted to cause can be decreased if humans reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are being released into the atmosphere. Also, if the amount of residential neighborhoods and businesses built on sea coasts were to decrease, a decrease in damage in dollars will be seen. The biggest issue is that the government pays for the neighborhoods and businesses built on coasts to be fixed after hurricanes hit. This gives businesses and homeowners no incentive to build elsewhere (Diana, 2017)
The climate change, that is being caused by greenhouse gases, will not cause an increase in amount of storms, but will increase severity of storms. A single hurricane can cause a lot of damage and destruction for the people in the path of the hurricane (Peach, 2016).
North and South America, along with other continents, will be affected by the rising of the sea surface temperature due to global warming cause more intense hurricanes to be experienced. This increase will not only affect our generation, but it will also affect future generations to come (Trenberth, 2016).
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2. Grinsted, Aslak, et al. “Projected Atlantic hurricane surge threat from rising temperatures.” PNAS, vol. 110, no. 14, 2 Apr. 2013, pp. 5369-73, www.jstor.org/stable/42582990. Accessed 22 Nov. 2017.
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